Australia is one of the famous and beautiful countries for aspiring immigrants. Offering plenty of opportunities for skilled workers in various occupation departments, Australia is willingly inviting skilled professionals to migrate to the country under it’s offered skilled worker program.

Eligible candidates can easily migrate to Australia by applying for an Australian permanent residency under skilled worker program.

General eligibility criteria to apply for Australian Permanent Residency

Prospective candidates must meet following eligibility criteria –

  • Find your occupation in the occupation list

Initially, you need to check your occupation in the occupations list. Once you find your occupation or related occupation duties, you must note down the occupation’s ANZSCO code. This ANZSCO code will help in determining your occupation and job duties that you are skilled in.

  • Meet required educational requirement for respective ANZSCO code

Each occupation NOC code comes with an educational qualification requirement. You must make sure that the education you pursued meets the requirement. Your graduation university is also taken into consideration. The Australian government only accepts recognized universities from around the world.

  • Minimum Work Experience for respective ANZSCO code

Each occupation NOC code also requires candidates to possess relevant occupation work experience. For example, a candidate applying for an engineering job must have previous work experience working in a similar profile and performing similar job duties.

  • Candidates should meet a minimum immigration points system

The Australian immigration authority awards points to candidates based on their age, education, work experience, language proficiency and certain human factors.

Different Visa Category under Skilled Worker Permanent Residency Program

The Australian permanent residency visa is bifurcated into following 3 different categories:

The skilled independent visa (subclass 189) is for candidates who are not sponsored by an Australian employer or family members or nominated by a state or a territory government. With the Skilled Worker Visa (Subclass 189) you can live and work anywhere in Australia as a permanent resident.

The skilled nominated visa (subclass 190) is for candidates nominated by Government of Australian state or territory to live and work in the Australian state or territory permanently.

The skilled regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) is for candidates nominated by a region of an Australian state. The candidate applying for the skilled regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) can stay up to four years in the region. The candidate cannot live permanently in Australia but can find a way to apply for permanent residency.

Steps to Apply for Australian Permanent Residency Visa under Skilled Worker Program

Following are the steps that you must follow to apply for Australian Permanent Residency under the skilled worker program successfully.

Skill Assessment

Since there are people with different skill sets, Australia has different professional skill assessment bodies for popular skill qualities.

Following are the assessing bodies for different professionals –
• Engineers – Engineers Australia
• Banking and finance – VETASSESS
• IT professionals – Australian Computers Society (ACS)
• CA professionals – Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA)

The table below shows how these assessment bodies function:

Assessing Body Introduction Document Requirement Candidates Assessed Processing Time Fee
VETASSESS VETASSESS is an Australian skill assessment body that assesses your skills for migration, education and sponsored employment purposes. Expanded, VETASSESS stands for Vocational Education and Training Assessment. Fee, Proof of identity, proof of change in name(if any), qualification documents, award certificates, academic transcripts, employment documents, payment evidence, CV Candidates whose occupation falls under the General Occupations List


10-12 Weeks Here is the breakdown of full-skills assessment by Vetassess:

  • Online application: AUD $880
  • Priority Processing: AUD $600
  • Paper-based application: AUD $945
Australian Computer Society (ACS) The Australian Computers Society (ACS) will only assess your application if your educational qualifications and work experience are closely related to the nominated occupation for the purpose of migration. The ACS assesses candidates who have education and employment in IT and Computer science sector. Closely related educational qualification, work experience, passport, transcript of marks, employment references, RPL, statutory declarations and affidavits IT and Computer professionals can get their skills assessed by ACS 6-8 Weeks The general skills assessment fee for ACS assessment is AUD $500
Engineers Australia (EA) Engineers Australia is the designated immigration assessing body for immigration occupations as listed by DIBP. Engineers Australia assesses applications of Engineers in various working sectors. Passport, birth certificate, passport size photographs, qualification documents, transcript of marks, English test scores and CV

Candidates having relevant education and work experience in Engineering can get their skills and qualifications assessed by Engineers Australia

2-3 Weeks A competency demonstration report + Skills assessment will cost about AUD $1,193.50 inclusive of taxes
Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) The Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) assessing body assesses candidates who have an expertise working in a professional accounting role. The CPA Australia assesses a candidate’s employment history to determine the work experience obtained is relevant to the occupation selected in ANZSCO occupation list. Academic documents, transcript of marks, English test scores, syllabus, A letter of Authority signed and testimonials CPA assess candidates having an expertise in Accountant profession About 1 month The application assessment fee for the year 2017 is AUD $180
Australia Institute of Management (AIM) The Australian Institute of Management assesses the skills of senior-level managers and CEOs. These candidates are required to meet specific criteria for the level of qualifications, training, and work experience. Employment details, previous employment, previous business position, academic transcripts, letters of appointments, payslips, promotions The Australia Institute of Management assesses Senior level managers Approximately 8 Weeks AUD $550

English Language Proficiency

Candidates will need to prove their language ability and proficiency by facing an English language test. The acceptable test for English language proficiency is IELTS test, Occupational English Test (OET), Pearson Academic Test of English (PTE), TOEFL or Cambridge Test of English.

Test Validity Fees When to Apply Test Dates Result Types of Test Qualifying Marks Modules Tested
IELTS 2 Years AUD 330 15 days before facing the test Every Week Within two weeks after the exam date Paper Based Test 6.5 Bands Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
TOEFL 2 Years USD 300 7 Days before Registration Closes Every Week Available after the ten days of the exam Internet-Based Test 73-Bachelor’s, 79- Master’s Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
PTE 2 Years AUD 330 Within a Week Metros-6 days/month, Other Cities-4 days/month Within five working days of the test, soft copy within 48 hours Computer Based Test 51 Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
OET 2 Years AUD 587- to sit all four sub-tests Anytime before registration closes Seven Times in a Year (Jan, Mar, May, June, Aug, Oct, and Nov) Within 16 business days after the exam date Paper Based Test At least B- Grade in each of the four subjects Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Doesn’t have an expiration date AUD 330 A month before facing the exam Every Month Within 4 to 6 weeks (Paper-based), and within 2 to 3 weeks (Computer-based) Computer or Paper-Based 180-210 Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking

Candidates will need to score a required score in order to be eligible for immigration as a permanent resident. Scoring higher in any of these tests will award you with extra points that will add up to the points you score on the points test system.

Points systems scores that you can secure for the specific score brackets in these tests are as follows:



Paper Based Computer Based Internet Based
7.5 627 263 107 73 – 79 A-B 191
7 600 250 100 65 – 72 B 185
6.5 577 233 90 59 – 64 C 176
6 550 213 79 51 – 58 C 169
5.5 525 197 71 43 – 50 D 162
5 500 173 61 35 – 42 D 154

Creation of Expression of Interest (EOI)

After finding your occupation NOC and scoring the required score for your language proficiency, you can go forward to creating your Expression of Interest (EOI). You can create and submit your EOI in the online SkillSelect system.

Once you have decided which visa you need to go for and have all the required information gathered, you are ready to create your EOI. You do not have to pay any fee for either creating or submitting your EOI in SkillSelect.

Upon creating your EOI, you can see how many points you secure but will not see where you rank. Your ranking keeps changing as people enter and leave SkillSelect. Your EOI once created will be valid for two years.

EOIs that are incomplete will also be stored in SkillSelect but will not be eligible to receive an invitation. You can make changes and updates to your EOI provided you did not receive an invitation. In case you have received an Invitation to Apply, you cannot make any changes to your EOI until your EOI expires. You can receive a maximum of two invitations during your EOI period.

Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

You will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if you score the minimum required points through SkillSelect. A number of things are taken into account before awarding a candidate with points.

These points are based on your age, educational qualification, work experience, language proficiency score and basic human factors. EOI profiles that have been lying in the SkillSelect for a long time will also be given priority. Selecting a candidate and inviting him to apply also depends upon his profile and demand in the country.

Final Visa Submission

The final process of visa submission requires a candidate to upload documents such as personal, educational, employment, police clearance, medical clearance and statutory declarations.  Post this; you pay your visa fee online. The fee varies depending upon the number of family members accompanying you who would include your spouse and depending children.

Documents Review by Australia High Commission

After you submit your documents, the Australia High Commission will begin evaluating the same. The High Commission will ask you to provide additional documents if there are any documents missing or if there is a need for additional information to support your case.

If all documents and information you provided are up to the mark, you can expect a grant letter that indicates that you have received your Australian permanent residency status.

Received Grant Letter

You will receive an electronic confirmation on your registered email address stating that your Australian permanent residency status has been granted. In order to activate your Australian permanent residency status, you will need to visit Australia before your medical clearance validity expires.

Your medical clearance report is valid for one year. If everything goes well and you receive your Australian permanent residency grant within 6 months, you will still have eight months in your hands to visit Australia and validate your Australian permanent residency status.

Validity of Your Australian Permanent Residency Visa

Your Australian permanent residency status will be activated the day you land in Australia and will be valid up to 5 years starting from the very day you land in Australia. If you wish to renew your permanent residency status for more 5 years, you must live in Australia for minimum 2 years.

Change Your Australian Permanent Residency Status to Citizenship

In order to change your Australian permanent residency status to citizenship, you must stay for at least 3 years in Australia and meet basic human factors. It is totally your choice whether you want to apply for Citizenship.

On becoming the citizen of Australia, you will not need the Australian permanent residency status anymore. However, if you just wish to stay in Australia for a longer period and do not wish to apply for citizenship, you can always choose to extend your Australian permanent residency status.

Benefits of Australian Permanent Residency

Having an Australian permanent residency status grants you many benefits as given below:

  • As an Australian permanent resident, you can live in Australia indefinitely. You can fly to and from Australia any number of times and would not have to face any restriction. Initially, you can stay in Australia for 5 years and later can extend your permanent resident status.
  • As a permanent resident, you can enjoy the freedom to pursue any course at a very nominal fee that Australian citizens pay for. Permanent residents can also avail an educational loan for which they are eligible too.
  • It is easier to find a job and work in Australia once you are an Australian permanent resident. You can choose to work in any job stream but you cannot join a government or defence job.
  • A permanent resident can receive social security benefits but will have to complete two years of stay in Australia. The social security benefits include healthcare benefits, unemployment benefits and childcare benefits.
  • Permanent residents can also sponsor their family members if the members meet the eligibility criteria.
  • A permanent resident also has the right to travel to New Zealand and apply for a New Zealand visa.

Social Rights for Australian Permanent Residency Holders:

The social rights of an Australian permanent resident include the benefits as follows:

  • Healthcare Benefit: As an Australian permanent resident, you get to avail the healthcare benefit called Medicare. With Medicare, you can avail free treatments in listed Australian healthcare units and can avail subsidies on medicines. Here is the detailed information about Healthcare benefits in Australia.
  • Unemployment Benefit: Candidates who become the permanent resident of Australia can also avail the unemployment benefit after spending some time working in the country. More information about the unemployment benefits can be found here.
  • Childcare Benefit: If you are a parent and have kid/kids below the age of 13, you are also eligible to avail the childcare benefit. You can find more information about childcare benefits in Australia here.

Australian Permanent Resident’s Income, Expenditure and Savings:

You can choose any occupation of your choice and work anywhere in Australia. You are eligible for unemployment benefit as well in case you lose job.

  • Salary: As an Australian permanent resident, you can earn anywhere up to AUD$8,000 to AUD$12,000 as your monthly salary.
  • Tax: An Australian permanent resident and citizen earning about AUD$8,000 to AUD$12,000 would be paying anywhere from AUD$2,000 to AUD$3,500 to the Australian government as tax. These tax standards are in effect for the fiscal year 2017-2018.
  • Savings: Candidates earning about AUD$8,000 to AUD$12,000 can save about AUD$2,000 to AUD$4,000 monthly.

Australian Citizenship Benefits:

You can further reduce this cost by seeking out better options and staying on a budget. Moreover, this cost can further reduce if you chose to live in a less expensive city.

An Australian permanent resident can apply for citizenship after he completes 3 years of stay in Australia. After becoming an Australian citizen, the candidate is eligible to live and work in New Zealand as well.

The permanent resident, now a citizen can cast votes, join Australian defense; apply for government jobs and; take political stands. Due to Australia’s better mutual relationships with different countries, Australian citizens can travel to many countries easily without the need of a tourist visa.

Also Read: 10 Key points for Australian Migrants Like Job Hunt, Cost of Living and Taxation

How to Prepare Before Moving to Australia

Here is the checklist that you should consider before moving to Australia:

  • Documents: The documents that you are required to carry with you are:
    • Birth certificates and passport of all family members
    • Adoption certificate, if applicable
    • Marriage certificate, divorce or annulment certificate, if applicable
    • Immunization certificate for all children (Very important)
    • Medical records, including X-rays, dental etc.
    • Copies of all educational certificates
    • Letter of reference from your previous employer
    • A professional portfolio or samples of your work
    • A valid driver’s license and international driver’s license. This will let you drive immediately in Australia for up to 3 to 6 months before you get an Australian driving license
    • Car insurance papers
    • Travel insurance papers
    • Certificates of valuation and authenticity for jewelry and other valuables
    • Enough funds
    • Documents relating to foreign income, properties or other investments
  • Personal and Household Items: As a permanent resident, you can carry certain personal and household belonging to Australia. These items include:
    • Furniture
    • Silverware/Cutlery
    • Homeware/crockery
    • Linen
    • Jewelry
    • Antiques
    • Books
    • Clothing, but not furs
    • Musical instruments
    • Stamps and coin collections
    • Paintings/sculptures
    • Power tools
    • Sports equipment
  • Transfer Your Investments: If you have any cash or investment, you must transfer them all. Before leaving the country, you should close all your bank accounts to save bank fee.
  • Valuables: You can carry certain valuable items with you to Australia. These items include:
    • Watches
    • Jewellery
    • Antiques
    • Works of art
    • Cash
  • Medical Records: You must arrange copies of medical records for your entire family members. The documents must include:
    • Medical records including X-rays
    • Dental records
    • Immunization records for children and adults
    • Optical prescriptions
    • Other medical prescriptions
  • Work Documents: All documents relating to your professional experience must be included as well.
  • Shipping Your Goods: Packaging and shipping your goods to Australia might cost a lot. So, you can leave the items that are not necessarily required.


Author: visasabroad
Visas Abroad Services LLP dealing with Canada, Australia & New Zealand permanent residency visa under skilled worker category.